Social Media Maniacs, the Worst Book Ever, and a Birthday Bonfire

My internet connection went dead three days ago.  I felt as if all the color run from my life, as my world turned to black and white.  I felt alone, stranded on a rocky, desolate island surrounded by violent crashing waves.  My social media needs went un-fed, and I was feeling surly.  I jest…I went to the only bookstore in town and bought a new book.  It reminded me why I usually stick to authors I know – it was the worst piece of junk I’ve ever started to read.  I tried to return it, but the shop was closed.  I thought of propping it up against the door and sneaking away, but if an unsuspecting reader picked it up and tried to read it…they could be turned off to reading forever.  Going back to the beach I found some friends involved in some birthday bonfire mayhem.  I gave the stinker of a book to a local whose vinegar outlook on life I’ve come to dislike.  He should have known better…the Aztec calendar warned of the coming of Cortez, the publication of this book, and the Great Internet Crash that is so common it needs no powers of prediction.


Aztec Sun GodBefore my internet went down I had seen a post from a blogger that claimed they had only been posting for a month, had received 11,984 hits, and had been followed by 1,218 other bloggers.  What?  The math is astounding…que milagro, as they say in a world of miracles.  Why should I care about this?  These kinds of posts always amuse and amaze me.  It seems as though the greedy acquisition of view, likes, and follows is the end to some means, like spending days following, liking, and commenting once or twice on every post from every blog.  There will probably be a new disorder named in honor of people like this.  There will also be a pill developed soon to counteract this debilitating, unquenchable desire, I’m sure…if there isn’t one or a few already.

I am proud to announce I have 29 followers, 208 views, so few likes there should be a minus sign before the number, and not one award.  I have clicked the “follow” button on a few of these afflicted addicts…past tense, since I’ve just as quickly un-followed them.  Some of the best writing, most interesting bloggers, as well as the most inspired and inspiring posts I have come across have been from people with less than 100 followers, few likes, nearly no comments, and best of all…no sense that they’re a cyber-social failure.  I guess they create posts because they like the process of creating quality posts more than the racket of insincere approval.

Book Cover OhSo, what can a person do when they have no internet connection?  Buy a book.  I did.  This is not a book review…more a book warning.  Do not touch the book Tenochtitlan: The Last Battle of the Aztecs by an author I won’t name out of common decency.  It was a translation from Spanish to English, so I could forgive the non-lyrical prose, but it was still a misguided attempt at storytelling.  There was too much information about the cultural clash between the native Aztecs and conquest-mad Spanish invaders for the novice, and too little unique insight to hold the attention of the initiated.

The only reason I read 75 pages or so into this mess was the wealth of amusing spelling and syntax errors committed by the translator.  It might have helped if I had my machete to cut through this, and that might be a good sales ploy:

Free Machete with Every Copy ! 

I don’t know.  I found something else to do quick.

The beach is never far away, and in a small town of less than 500 inhabitants, there’s always someone or a group of someones there I know who are up to no good, or…lighting a bonfire for an night-long birthday party.  My good friends from Villareal – Francisco and Sylvia, his lively, lovely Cubana wife – were there with their collection of children and a few fellow revelers.  It was Sylvia’s birthday, or so they claimed…as if an excuse was necessary.  These people will light a fire and party all night to celebrate the sunset.

Fire Shot IIFire Shot IX

I tried to get a few photos.  I am an amateur.  There always seemed to be beer bottles blocking my view, not enough light, or both in this case.  My wife – the real photographer – told me I could PhotoShop my failed photos, but I kind of liked them the way they came out.  The dim glow of the fire provided just enough light for me to capture my wife, a professional bellydancer, showing Francisco a few moves, while at the same time protecting Francisco’s anonymity…even though his belly would suggest his attempts at belly-rolls and hip-drops should be captured and immortalized for the edification of all involved.

Fire Shot III

These are trying times, I know, but we who are still walking the walk are survivors.  The internet connection is back, so I won’t take any literary chances and be seduced by books with catchy, colorful cover art, and I’ll just have to force myself away from the “like” and “follow” buttons long enough to go to the beach and find myself involved in LIFE.  There will be updates on this experiment in living, since I’m sure ICE and RACSA, the Costa Rican communications providers, won’t be able to sustain such a dangerous level of internet access beyond sunset tomorrow.

A Book CoverTo my few followers and friends around the world…stay away from this book.  Anyone else dropping in for a cheap thrill – this is the book for you.


21 thoughts on “Social Media Maniacs, the Worst Book Ever, and a Birthday Bonfire

  1. bluebrightly says:

    Don’t-judge-a-book-by-it’s-cover-should-have-been-a-warning…but glad you took those beach bonfire pictures; I like them. More than I like all the likes that people send my way when they’re trying to get me to like their blogs…yes, a disorder will be named, soon enough. Next: a medication for it – one with lots of dangerous side effects!, like – I leave that to you.

    • coyotero2112 says:

      My imagination has been soaring as of late…side effects are a whole post in theselves. A chain reaction of taking one pill, another to counter the side effects, another to counter the side-effects of the side-effect meds, etc., etc.

  2. Don says:

    “I guess they create posts because they like the process of creating quality posts more than the racket of insincere approval.” You’ve hit the nail right on the head. It’s always a joy to sense sincerity from a blogger and from what he/she writes. I sense it here. Thank you.

  3. Technology is only a means to an end. We laugh about getting cut off from the rest of the world but obviously there is a deep need in humans to feel connected. The internet wouldn’t be such a lifeline otherwise. When I was sent to Armenia (and its inhuman winters) in Peace Corps a friend of mine was sent to Saint Lucia at the same time. We wrote back and forth. It took 3 months for a letter to get to me (pre-Internet days) and I treasured those letters beyond measure. I was living in a tiny hut at the time in this ruined city, like Dresden if it had never been rebuilt after WW2. One day in December I got a letter from my Saint Lucia friend and she talked about how the electricity had gone out in her village so she took the day off to go down to the harbor and swim with dolphins. The electricity had gone out in Gyumri too … 8 years before I even got there … and it was so cold in those mountains I’d wake up with frost on my pillow. It was at that point I realized not all Peace Corps assignments are equal. Still, it was a small price to pay to keep getting letters and keep feeling there was an outside world I was part of. Now letters arrive in seconds from the far side of the world. That is what I call brilliant!

    • coyotero2112 says:

      I do appreciate the speed also. And, if ever again, hold out for a Carribean island. But, seems like you made the most of your tour of duty.

  4. Bizangelgirl55 says:

    It is so sad. We have become slaves of everything electronic. We are lost with no social media. We do not know where to go or what to do. It’s pathetic and I speak for myself. Anyway sorry for the indigestion the book you bought gave you, like they say “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. At least you’ve got the beautiful beach to content yourself with. Just a little humour. Ah!Ah!

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Before I gave that piece of gunk away I tossed it to the tide, and it washed right back to my feet. Like mis-adopting a friend or pet that always finds it way back to your door. Thanks for the condolences and empathy. Post something…I need a good read.

  5. Bah, humbug to the social media and all of its superficialities or supercalla fraga lillies or something like that. Glad your connection is up and running, though. Thank God I hadn’t read the book – and liked it. 🙂

    • coyotero2112 says:

      No One could like it, exept for about 75 pages if you enjoy mangled language. Kind of like Spoonerisms, if you’ve heard of that English preacher who mangled language into silly oxymorons when he got the spirit going.

  6. ioniamartin says:

    I have actually read a book before that was so bad I was afraid to burn it because I feared the toxic fumes would kill the entire planet. I feel your pain.

    • coyotero2112 says:

      It’s the ilk of which one should cut into shreds and put in the garbage – someone else’s garbage. I have nosy neighbors, and reputations are as delicate as jelly fish here.

  7. mrs fringe says:

    I never imagined I would become as connected to and through the internet as I have. Lots of internet problems for me in the past couple of months, eek! Made me very aware of how much I have grown to depend on this overheating rectangle on my lap. But I don’t want a pill, I think I’m having more fun (small following and all) than I’ve had in a long time.
    Love the photos, and the image of you and your wife at the bonfire 🙂

    • coyotero2112 says:

      You’re one of the people I was thinking about when I wrote that. My few readers don’t seem to be chasing follows and such, and I feel good about the notices I get, not obligated. Thanks for being one of the real people…how does if feel to be real?

      • mrs fringe says:

        “…not obligated.” YES! Mrs Fringe isn’t a business blog, nor are any of the blogs I follow. For me, this is a beautiful way to make connections and do a little learning and growing along the way.

        I love to read your blog because it’s interesting, often fun, and for as eclectic as it appears to be, you’re consistently you.

        And thank you, I consider “real” to be a tremendous compliment.

  8. Loved the post I have nominated you for the Best Moment Award please visit for details

    • coyotero2112 says:

      I appreciate it, but I’m not an awards type of guy. The few comments I get from people like you are reward enough for my garbled ramblings. Thanks for reading what so few people dare, or care to. Cheers !

  9. JC says:

    Thanks for the advice… Sounds like I won’t be touching that book with a bargepole! Loved the post. Cheers.

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